Lancer men surge past North Carolina

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Three top-30 finishes, including a 20th-place outing from Russell Reed, lifted the Longwood men’s cross country team to a second-place finish ahead of North Carolina Saturday at the Three Stripe Invite hosted by NC State at the WakeMed Cross Country Course.

Running on a waterlogged course in steady rain, Reed clocked a team-best 16:21.53 on the 5K course to establish the sixth fastest 5K time in Longwood history.

The performance – which marked Reed’s fourth top-10 5K time in school history — gave the Lancers a one-point edge over the Tar Heels in the team standings en route to a second-place overall finish.

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“This was a great day for both teams,” said head coach Catherine Hanson. “They raced hard in less than ideal conditions, and the women finished despite a few injuries and illnesses. We had career bests from Leon [Beard] and John [Bapties] and a season-best from Johnny [Leder], which will give us some momentum heading into the NCAA Regional.”

Following Reed inside the top 30 were 25th-place finisher Beard at 16:29.10 and 30th-place finisher Leder at 16:41.21.The 16:29.10 was a personal best, while Leder’s 16:41.21 was just 13 seconds shy of the personal-best time he set in the season-opening race at Coastal Carolina on Sept. 13.

Longwood’s women received another top performance from junior Gracie Piekarski, who led the Lancers for the sixth straight race. Piekarski, who was coming off back-to-back 5K PR performances, took 16th in the 30-runner field with a time of 19:36.03.